Places To Go In Safaga
Safaga is a rough-and-ready port town that keeps itself in existence through the export of phosphates from local mines. It’s also a major local terminal for the ferry to Saudi Arabia, and during the hajj, thousands of pilgrims from the Nile Valley embark here on their voyages to Mecca.
Despite the turquoise waters and the reefs that lie offshore, the town itself is an unattractive grid of fly- blown, litter-strewn streets. Unless you’re into windsurfing (which is top notch here) or diving and are staying at one of the beach hotels along the resort strip at the northern end of the bay, it’s not worth a stopover.
It’s a long town based around Sharia al- Gomhuriyya, the main road running parallel to the waterfront. At the far northern end of town, near the roundabout with the large dolphin sculptures, a road branch northeast o Sharia al-Gomhuriyya leading to the northern resort strip.
Most people come to Safaga for the diving but it’s also a famously windy place, with a fairly steady stream blowing in from the north, and most of the resort hotels have windsurfing centers, plus kitesurfing and other aquatic sports.
Panorama Reef is famous for its schooling barracuda, as well as numerous dolphins, eagle rays, grey reef sharks and silver tips. Depth: 3m to 40m; rating: intermediate; access by boat.
The Salem Express is a stunning yet mournful sight. In 1991 this passenger ferry sank along with hundreds of pilgrims returning from the hajj – while diving, take a moment to reflect on this watery graveyard. Depth: 15m to 30m; rating: intermediate, access by boat.